Hello Brave One!

Here is this week’s spotlight on Hoarding Disorder and Compulsive Saving:

Hoarding Disorder is characterized by persistent difficulty discarding possessions, regardless of value, due to a perceived need to save items and distress with discarding them, and excessive clutter in living areas that compromises intended use of items (or if the living area is uncluttered, it’s only because of third party), all of which causes distress and impairment in functioning.

Common Hoarding Disorder Symptoms:

  • Excessive difficulty discarding/giving away items
  • Attaching meaning to items (beauty/aesthetics, memory, utility/opportunity, sentimental, comfort, identity, control, mistakes, responsibility/waste, completeness, safety)
  • Excessive acquiring/compulsive shopping
  • Positive emotions with acquiring and saving
  • Negative emotions with getting rid of items
  • ”Churning” when trying to go through clutter
  • Difficulty with organization, attention, decision-making, memory
  • Fear of others seeing living space
  • Shame associated with clutter

Common Hoarding Disorder Core Fears:

  • Feeling judged, rejected, ashamed, unlovable *it’s common for individuals with hoarding disorder to have difficulty with interpersonal relationships
  • Loss of identity: Who am I without my stuff?
  • Loss of purpose/meaning, missing out on something that could be meaningful
  • Being a bad person
  • Feeling regretful/missing opportunities

**Please note: naming common symptoms helps us get more information out to individuals suffering with hoarding disorder, but everyone is unique and we cannot speak to all experiences. For more information or a comprehensive assessment, we recommend working with a therapist trained in ERP and CBT for hoarding disorder.

Stay Brave!

-The OCD MN Team